Neil Gunn basking in the sun
waiting for the warm deception of the sun’s rays
to tempt the passer-by out of their stone-cold hibernation
into the hard morning frost.
I’ve done a few daft things in my time. None particularly serious and certainly none of note. I’ve made small gestures on points of principle and maybe raised the odd eyebrow or smile. I’ve stood anonymously in crowds, marched and shouted with the best of them. All deliberate actions but never really raising my head above the parapet. Then I became father to 3 boys and settled on contenting myself with quietly grumbling in the corner, a gradual but inevitable slide into an ineffectual, cantankerous old man.
Sometimes though something happens quite by accident. You really didn’t mean much by it, maybe you thought you were trying to help. A little thing that got out of hand. You then find you have a bit of a dilemma. Do you go back to sleep and ignore it or do you follow it through and hope, even if it’s an outside chance, that something good will come out of it? It’s not so much of a stand, more accidental turn down a one way street. Now though your head is above the parapet, directly in the line of fire, and frankly for all your principles you’re shitting yourself. About something you never thought you’d be shouting about. Kids do strange things to you. When their welfare is at stake you start to take risks again. It’s not comfortable.
I’m not sure if the writer was able to salvage anything intelligible from my ramblings or what treatment they received. I hope it wasn’t too negative, ours was a good news story after all. I don’t yet know whether I dare show my face in public any time soon and I certainly don’t think that I’m brave enough to read it. I hope however it turns out that I’m not judged too harshly. I was just looking out for my boys and the community that I’ve come to call home these past 10 years, and those like us.
And what’s this got to do with hedgehogs? Well courting all this attention might seem fun but it’s a wee bit prickly.